Star Wars: After rewatching them, I think Episode I is the only good prequel.

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Ezekiel

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#1  Edited By Ezekiel

These are my little reviews of the three prequels, after watching them all again this week. I know they're not very good reviews. Their purpose is really to point out the things that stuck out to me most. I've posted most of this in the movie thread, but I thought it would be better to discuss them all in one dedicated thread.

THE PHANTOM MENACE

Hadn’t seen it in over a decade. I was afraid all the hard to argue against problems that have been brought up over and over by everybody in recent years would make it hard to enjoy. I do see some obvious flaws, such as…

  • The film expecting you to suspend your disbelief quite a fair amount. The worst for me was little Anakin taking out the control ship after his fighter somehow auto-pilots him to the battle.
  • Rather bland characters. (Wasn’t as bored with them as Rogue One’s, though. They’re handled better.)
  • The CG is generally pretty blurry and undefined. It’s ridiculous how Jabba looks so much more realistic in Return of the Jedi than he does here. In other scenes, it shines. The pod race is a good sequence that couldn’t have been done with practical effects and models. The digital space scenes look good too. It’s the organic creations that suffer the most. There are a lot of models, real sets and matte paintings, so the idea that so much of the film is CG… Well, it’s true. A ton of it is CG, but most of what you see is real or composited.
  • Anakin being a prophecy conceived by midi-chlorians. Dumb.
  • Obi-Wan spinning is lightsaber for no reason, when not engaged in combat, throughout the movie.
  • Watto flying with tiny wings.

But I find it to be a fun, visually attractive movie. I appreciate that it explores new themes, such as community and government, people coming together. The two commentary tracks made me further appreciate the artistry and details, even if it didn’t all come together well. I wish more creativity went into The Force Awakens.

7/10

ATTACK OF THE CLONES

This feels lazy compared to The Phantom Menace. It doesn’t have the same energy and isn’t fun.

The action is tame and lacking, especially in the first hour. Even after the story really picks up steam, there is little to be excited about. The characters get out of every situation like it’s nothing, including the queen turned diplomat. Why does she dramatically say, “Out lives are about to be destroyed anyway,” and act like they’re both about to die, only to then get out of her restraints so easily. The action scene isn’t in character for her. She shoots a bit in Episode I, becomes an action hero in Episode II and then does nothing in Episode III.

The romance is so unrealistic and hammy. I was smiling and almost laughing at some of the awkward crap that was coming out of Ani’s mouth and at how seductively Padme dressed when they were alone with a romantic fire. Why does Padme fall in love with him? The societal barrier between them is dumb. Making the Jedi passionless and celibate for the sake of a forbidden romance is one of the worst things the prequels did. The movie did very little to make me like Anakin.

Yoda should never have used a lightsaber.

I can accept the idea of the army being cloned from a bounty hunter, since a battle-hardened bounty hunter would have ideal genes and abilities, but why does it have to be Fett? His son was a nobody in the original trilogy (and had a white man’s voice).

Why does Dooku tell Obi-Wan that the senate is being controlled by a Darth Sidious and that the viceroy of the Trade Federation was used by the Sith? Why does he go on to ask Obi-Wan to join him so that they can destroy the Sith and then at the end of the movie meet up with his master, Sidious? I don’t understand his motives.

It’s kind of farfetched that Jango Fett is needed both on Kamino for the cloning and on Geonosis for Dooku’s schemes and assassination attempts. The way Obi-Wan gets to Geonosis is also far-fetched. He shows a dart to a cook, who somehow knows it came from Kamino, where he learns about the clones and speaks with Jango, who then attacks him and who he then tracks to the separatist base.

It’s so convenient that all the Jedi come to the rescue in the nick of time and then immediately when the battle is lost Yoda shows up with the clone army, like it’s so quick and easy to go to the remote Kamino, deliberate with the workers, amass the soldiers and ships and rush to the rescue.

There’s far too much CG. Even most of the storm troopers are CG, when they could have easily used real costumes. The Phantom Menace had a lot more models, sets, matte paintings, composited shots and scenes filmed on location. Some of the CG looked pretty bad, but there was less of it. You wanna know why the Trade Federation control ship looked so good in The Phantom Menace? Because it was an eight foot model. I think it was eight feet. Eight or six feet. I’d have to listen to that part of the commentary again to be sure. Lucas became lazy or too confident in his digital revolution.

It’s pretty average. I’m not hopeful for Episode III. Episode I had a likable innocence, kind of like the first movie. Episode II goes into darker territories poorly and too quickly.

5/10

REVENGE OF THE SITH

The opening is pretty good, with the banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan and long upbeat battle to rescue Palpatine. The second half feels rushed, like there’s much the film still needs to establish for the original trilogy. Anakin becoming full Darth Vader after helping kill Windu and then immediately killing children, Palpatine claiming the Jedi aim to take over the senate (How would they even accomplish this? The clones aren’t their army and the Republic is made of many governments.) and immediately creating a Galactic Empire with full support by the senate, even though the Jedi have been known as peacekeepers for generations, and Yoda choosing to go into exile immediately after his failure to defeat Sidious. The way it elaborates on the mythology and these characters is interesting, but it’s not very graceful.

The final lightsaber fight is honestly kind of like a silly video game lava platforming sequence. It’s drawn out.

It has some dumb moments, like Ani and Padme trying to be romantic on the balcony, Padme being perfectly healthy according to the medical droid but losing the will to live and Palpatine becoming deformed from an attack he would viciously use on Luke years later. Why does Anakin’s whole body catch on fire? Is that how lava works? It never seemed right to me. I would have rather seen him burn up in a big fire, or fall into lava or a kind of acid and rise screaming like in the end of Terminator 2.

The closer you get to the end of the trilogy, the more pointless it feels, since you already know where it’s gonna go. I have no desire to now continue on to Episode IV, because they’re vastly different trilogies that don’t flow together that well. The original trilogy is pretty self-contained, but this one has no ending. It’s all so dark and doesn’t give you much resolution in return. In Episode I, everything was still vague and there wasn’t so much focus on Anakin.

6/10

I find it depressing how highly rated Episode III is compared to the others. Is this what people want from Star Wars? Pain, gloom and cruelty?

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Sinusoidal

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Prequels? What prequels? Star Wars never had any prequels...

STAR WARS NEVER HAD ANY PREQUELS!!!!

Seriously though, they're all mediocre, boring CGI fests with little-to-no substance and the occasional outright offensively bad character or bit of writing. I mean, the originals aren't much more than that, but at least they were relatively original at the time. Being a kid then, they were something special. I must have watched the first three films a hundred times over on VHS. I can still recite the dialog line-for-line if I happen to catch one of them on TV or something.

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Pilgore

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BLARGHH!!! THE PREQUELS NEVER HAPPEND BLRHARGRHAHFAFAGAGHAAWEAAAH!!!!!!

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liquiddragon

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As long as we can all agree Ep2 was easily the worst. I don't talk to many SW fans 'cause I'm not a SW guy but I've run into more than a few folks who argued that Ep1 was the absolute worst.

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s10129107

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@liquiddragon: I think Episode 2 at least tries to be fun. Episode one is just super boring. That's the worst offense for a movie like that.

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Max_Cherry

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Listen to me. None of the Star Wars movies were good.

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Ezekiel

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#7  Edited By Ezekiel
@s10129107 said:

@liquiddragon: I think Episode 2 at least tries to be fun. Episode one is just super boring. That's the worst offense for a movie like that.

Couldn't disagree more. Episode II feels lazy and has blander action scenes with worse characters.

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stonyman65

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nightriff

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Been awhile since I've seen them but at one point I would argue that 1 is a bad movie but I still would rather watch it than 6

Don't know if I would say that now as it's been YEARS since I've viewed any SW films

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BoOzak

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@max_cherry: I wont go as far as to say they're bad but I never understood the rampant over analyizing of them. Would Star Wars have the same appeal if it was called Space Magic?

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Bones8677

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Jabba looked realistic in Return of the Jedi because he was real.

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Humanity

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All the prequels are pretty flawed in various ways that tend to undermine what made Star Wars so great in the first place, but Phantom Menace does do the least amount of damage. Rogue One is a pretty good example of how to take existing canon and rework it into something at once recognizable, but also new without being as aggressive in reworking the mold as the prequels were. It also just gets the pacing right, with bigger emphasis on the scope overall rather than overly flashy moment to moment action - that is the one place where Phantom Menace got it right.

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liquiddragon

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#13  Edited By liquiddragon

@s10129107: Ok, I can already tell we will never see eye to eye. You're putting ep2 and fun in the same sentence. Even if they're separated by the word "tries", that's still batshit crazy to me. Ep1 has Darth Maul, double bladed lightsaber, podracing, and Liam Neeson which are all kinda cool in my book, Ep2 has that train wreck of a romance and Hayden Christensen. Like I said earlier, I'm not a SW guy so maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

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stonyman65

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@boozak said:

@max_cherry: I wont go as far as to say they're bad but I never understood the rampant over analyizing of them. Would Star Wars have the same appeal if it was called Space Magic?

I think a lot of the over analyzing, at least the modern type, really is just all of the people who got waay into the Expanded Universe books and all that. That sort of stuff didn't exist until much later. Sure, Star Wars geeks would sit around and talk about the movies and the action figures and all that but it didn't reach the Star Trek-Trekies level of craziness until fairly recently. I think the appeal, at least to my friends and I, is that it was essentially and medieval fantasy set in space. It had hot chick(s), action and laser swords, and wasn't as dry or goofy as Star Trek was. It was the "Cool kid's" Sci-Fi fantasy.

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soulcake

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#15  Edited By soulcake
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one is ok Two is hot Garbage and III is one of my favourites (better then return of the jedi ) but it's a personal thing. ( I really hate hayden christensen and seeing him burned to a Crisp GLORIOUS ! )

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murph267

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#16  Edited By murph267

Episode I is a fun watch just because you get to see just how much George Lucas doesn't understand what made Star Wars great ,which is entertaining if you go into the movie with that mindset . Episode II is just such a really bland CGI fest that doesn't even have any dumb fun moments like the Darth Maul or have the honor of being the first movie that set Stars Wars down a dark path.

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Ryuku_Ryosake

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@ezekiel said:

Is this what people want from Star Wars? Pain, gloom and cruelty?

Seeing as how Empire is everyone favorite and codified the dark, middle chapter in film trilogies. Yes that is exactly what people want from Star Wars.

Episode 1 is pretty self contained and would have worked better if it have been the start of a sequel or side story. The problem was you only make prequels to the first trilogy to tell the story of the fall of the republic and corruption of a great hero. Which sets the expectation it would probably be dark or at least touch upon those points which it doesn't at all. Anakin might as well not be in the movie and all you learn about the republic is they are at war which is covered in the opening scroll.

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BisonHero

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#18  Edited By BisonHero

I'm with you in that Episode I is definitely the least bad. Liam Neeson is a really good Jedi!

Episode II is atrocious for all the reasons you mentioned, and then yeah, in Episode III Padme is such a non-character who plays almost no meaningful part in the story yet she's supposed to be this big motivation for Anakin, and just in general every plot point that conveniently gets characters from place to place in Episode II and III feels kinda lame. At least the scope is a little smaller in Episode I and I actually bought all of the reasons they go from Tatooine to Naboo to Coruscant.

Also, just way too fucking much of the prequels takes places on Coruscant, which is just a boring as fuck setting unless you dive into its underworld. When they keep coming back to that planet just to have another scene with the Jedi Council or Senate, or Padme's swanky apartment, it's just the slowest thing you could possibly do in a Star Wars movie.

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ichthy

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#19  Edited By ichthy

The prequels did give us Duel of the Fates, so it wasn't all bad...

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Ezekiel

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#20  Edited By Ezekiel
@ryuku_ryosake said:
@ezekiel said:

Is this what people want from Star Wars? Pain, gloom and cruelty?

Seeing as how Empire is everyone favorite and codified the dark, middle chapter in film trilogies. Yes that is exactly what people want from Star Wars.

Episode 1 is pretty self contained and would have worked better if it have been the start of a sequel or side story. The problem was you only make prequels to the first trilogy to tell the story of the fall of the republic and corruption of a great hero. Which sets the expectation it would probably be dark or at least touch upon those points which it doesn't at all. Anakin might as well not be in the movie and all you learn about the republic is they are at war which is covered in the opening scroll.

Empire is charming. It has dark moments, but it doesn't forget what makes Star Wars fun. The adventure and characters.

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takayamasama

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#21  Edited By takayamasama  Online

I liked Episode 1 and 3 more then I liked Force Awakens, when I think about it.

I'm sure this statement will not sit well with people.

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monkeyking1969

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#22  Edited By monkeyking1969

In will admit Ep 2 & 3 are worse. But that is all I can say that is nice.

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All three movies are dumpsternuclear reactor fires.

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FacelessVixen

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#23 FacelessVixen  Online
@ichthy said:

The prequels did give us Duel of the Fates, so it wasn't all bad...

The prequels also gave us this:

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I honestly don't know if I should laugh or feel sorry for Jake Lloyd.

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Episode 1 is great! You just gotta cut out the parts before the darth maul vs obi wan + qui gon duel!

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ichthy

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@ichthy said:

The prequels did give us Duel of the Fates, so it wasn't all bad...

The prequels also gave us this:

No Caption Provided

I honestly don't know if I should laugh or feel sorry for Jake Lloyd.

I definitely feel bad for the guy.

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rethla

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@boozak said:

@max_cherry: I wont go as far as to say they're bad but I never understood the rampant over analyizing of them. Would Star Wars have the same appeal if it was called Space Magic?

Yes, and your post would read the other way around.

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GiantLizardKing

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It's terrible. They're all terrible but that one's the worst. That kid was terrible and the plot was lifeless.

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FrostyRyan

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#28  Edited By FrostyRyan

Someone thinking ROTS isn't the best prequel is just insanity to me

Phantom Menace's problem is how pointless it is. Qui-Gon is pointless. Seeing Anakin as a very small child is pointless. The entire movie is pointless and barely adds anything to the overall Star Wars story. There's no main character in the movie. The plot doesn't make sense. I can go on.

Attack of the Clones is a more relevant movie in the main series but it manages to be worse than TPM because of how unbelievably boring it is. The CGI clones and backgrounds also look SO HORRIBLE. They couldn't have actors wear armor? Really? The romance falls flat on its face. Anakin and Padme have less than zero chemistry. Everyone in the movie talks like a robot. Lots of people talking on couches and in front of windows in shot reverse shot. It's the worst of the 3 despite being more relevant to Anakin's arc than TPM.

ROTS is the only tolerable prequel and by far the most relevant. The movie is clearly trying to tug at your heart strings and give you an emotional response, unlike the other two which are like watching paint dry. Order 66 is a sad scene that adds a lot to the SW lore. The CGI is so much better. Palpatine is at his absolute best in the series. Best character in the prequels by a country mile, and that's highly reinforced by ROTS. That actor was hamming it up like no tomorrow.

This whole comment is just a bunch of rambling though so I'm not being thorough. ROTS is just very clearly the best one though. Lots of stuff actually happens in it.

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GalacticPunt

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@bones8677: Jabba is real, he is very powerful, and he's my friend.

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#30  Edited By mandude

I don't know how you watched it. I tried watching it a year ago, and while it wasn't as bad as I remember, it was so boring I couldn't finish it.

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Ezekiel

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#31  Edited By Ezekiel

@frostyryan said:

Someone thinking ROTS isn't the best prequel is just insanity to me

Phantom Menace's problem is how pointless it is. Qui-Gon is pointless. Seeing Anakin as a very small child is pointless. The entire movie is pointless and barely adds anything to the overall Star Wars story. There's no main character in the movie. The plot doesn't make sense. I can go on.

Attack of the Clones is a more relevant movie in the main series but it manages to be worse than TPM because of how unbelievably boring it is. The CGI clones and backgrounds also look SO HORRIBLE. They couldn't have actors wear armor? Really? The romance falls flat on its face. Anakin and Padme have less than zero chemistry. Everyone in the movie talks like a robot. Lots of people talking on couches and in front of windows in shot reverse shot. It's the worst of the 3 despite being more relevant to Anakin's arc than TPM.

ROTS is the only tolerable prequel and by far the most relevant. The movie is clearly trying to tug at your heart strings and give you an emotional response, unlike the other two which are like watching paint dry. Order 66 is a sad scene that adds a lot to the SW lore. The CGI is so much better. Palpatine is at his absolute best in the series. Best character in the prequels by a country mile, and that's highly reinforced by ROTS. That actor was hamming it up like no tomorrow.

This whole comment is just a bunch of rambling though so I'm not being thorough. ROTS is just very clearly the best one though. Lots of stuff actually happens in it.

My argument is that the more you try to explain those events, the more pointless it becomes. We already know what happens, and there's little sense of resolution. The last hour feels rushed. The Phantom Menace was free to tell a self-contained story, much like Episode IV. Not having a main character yet was perhaps to the benefit of the film. The characters were still only chess pieces in this bigger story of space politics.

How does the plot not make sense? The Trade Federation is blockading Naboo under the guise of a trade/taxation dispute (which is unfortunately not well explained) when they really want to invade the planet for its resources (those plasma spheres that we see in the massive room behind the hangar and which are used by the Gungans). Sidious is manipulating the Trade Federation, promising that the invasion will be lawful, but his purpose is really to make himself the new chancellor after it becomes evident that the current system doesn't work and there's too much corruption. Does the story have serious problems? Yes. It's still more believable than Episode III's, though.

@bisonhero said:

I'm with you in that Episode I is definitely the least bad. Liam Neeson is a really good Jedi!

Episode II is atrocious for all the reasons you mentioned, and then yeah, in Episode III Padme is such a non-character who plays almost no meaningful part in the story yet she's supposed to be this big motivation for Anakin, and just in general every plot point that conveniently gets characters from place to place in Episode II and III feels kinda lame. At least the scope is a little smaller in Episode I and I actually bought all of the reasons they go from Tatooine to Naboo to Coruscant.

Yes! The smaller scope of Episode I definitely helped.

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Ryuku_Ryosake

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@ezekiel said:

Empire is charming. It has dark moments, but it doesn't forget what makes Star Wars fun. The adventure and characters.

I would argue Empire has the least 'charm' factor of the original trilogy. While Jedi doubled down on the charm factor and before the prequels a lot people didn't like that one either.

It is really only the characters that bring the charm to the movie. Empire is not an adventure in the slightest especially in comparison to IV and Jedi. There is no goal or quest just the heroes are attacked and narrowly escape three times. Finding Yoda could have been a quest but it was go to this exact place and find Yoda.

The main stand out characteristic of Empire was it's darker tone and heavier melodrama. It was equal to or weaker than the other movies in every other category. So clearly that's what the people want from their star wars.

I will give you that Phantom Menace is most certainly the most traditional adventure of the prequels but it completely lacks character. The only good characters in the prequels are Obi Wan and Palatine. Both of them are only any good in II and III. Also some times the Anakin and Obi Wan banter is actually charming. But again all elements not in Phantom Menace.

Now the actual best prequel material is the Clone Wars tv series. As Anakin actually has a likeable characters. Pretty much everyone is a good character in there. Even Yoda is way more original trilogy than prequel no fun Yoda. It also happens to be fairly dark and melodramatic.

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Colonel_Pockets

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Phantom Menace is sooooooooo boring. Attack of the Clones has that terrible romance subplot. Revenge of the Sith is an incredibly rushed film, that has issues. Revenge of the Sith is the least bad by a country mile.

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WarlordPayne

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I actually enjoyed a fair bit of Episode 3 which is something I can't say for 1 or 2. Episode 3 got saddled with having to have all the character and plot development that should have been spread across 3 films crammed into it to have it line up with 4. If those first two had been at all competent I think the third could have actually been pretty great.

The worst for me, by far, is Episode 2. The lows in the first are probably worse, but there were some parts of it that weren't completely awful. 2 was just unbearable the entire way through, with no relief.

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FrostyRyan

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Now the actual best prequel material is the Clone Wars tv series. As Anakin actually has a likeable characters. Pretty much everyone is a good character in there. Even Yoda is way more original trilogy than prequel no fun Yoda. It also happens to be fairly dark and melodramatic.

I finished clone wars a couple days ago and couldn't agree more. That show even retroactively improves revenge of the sith in my opinion. Getting to know the Jedi who died in order 66...and also just WHAT order 66 was. What a good show

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Ezekiel

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#36  Edited By Ezekiel

@ryuku_ryosake said:
Now the actual best prequel material is the Clone Wars tv series. As Anakin actually has a likeable characters. Pretty much everyone is a good character in there. Even Yoda is way more original trilogy than prequel no fun Yoda. It also happens to be fairly dark and melodramatic.

I don't know... I watched the first episode and wasn't that interested with what happened. I also dislike the CG animation. Yoda looked like he was made of wood.

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Sackmanjones

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I'm glad to see 3 get some love here. I actually like 3 quite a bit. I feel like Anakin FINALLY gets mostly away from his whiny bullshit and the transition he makes is less into relatively well. Sure there are still some cheesy parts but Star Wars is cheesy in every film st some point. I'm not saying it's the best Star Wars but I think it's better than the other prequels by a mile and may even top Jedi, depending on my mood

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Sinusoidal

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@ichthy said:

@facelessvixen said:
@ichthy said:

The prequels did give us Duel of the Fates, so it wasn't all bad...

I honestly don't know if I should laugh or feel sorry for Jake Lloyd.

I definitely feel bad for the guy.

Yeah, though Lucas is the real criminal here for giving him such atrocious dialog.

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#39  Edited By Xdeser2

So, I'm gonna be the odd one out here. Episode 1, with the exception of Jar Jar, is mostly just meh instead of complete trash. Episode 3 is actually kind of okay (minus the "only because Im so in love" moment). Episode 2 though, is complete dogshit. Its legit one of the worst pieces of cinema ever made.

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Ezekiel

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@xdeser2 said:

So, I'm gonna be the odd one out here. Episode 1, with the exception of Jar Jar, is mostly just meh instead of complete trash. Episode 3 is actually kind of okay (minus the "only because Im so in love" moment). Episode 2 though, is complete dogshit. Its legit one of the worst pieces of cinema ever made.

I wouldn't go that far, but I find it completely mediocre and exceptionally flawed. I thought Rogue One was the worst Star Wars movie until I rewatched Episode II.

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SamanthaK

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The problem i have with the prequels are the bad writing, bad acting, overuse of CG and the look of everything, i know they are prequels but it's like im watching something other than Star Wars.

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Lv4Monk

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Over anything else 1 was just SOOOOOOO BOOOOOOOORING. 2 was, ever so slightly, closer to something resembling fun and 3 is a hugely underrated movie. By that I mean it's not great.

Seriously, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BOOOOOOOOOOORING.

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burncoat

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I'm surprised nobody mentioned the RedLetterMedia reviews of the prequels so far. I feel like they're almost required watching if you want to know why the prequels were so terrible. It's amazing how easily they break down how far removed George Lucas's direction was from what made Star Wars great in the first place.

The thing that gets me the most, beyond the bland characters, in the Phantom Menace is the outright pointlessness of the plot.

  • Darth Sidious wants the treaty signed to make the invasion legal. Why? If the queen signed it, he'd never rise to power. Why consistently tell the Viceroy to get her to sign the treaty?
  • What's being blockaded that makes it such an issue? They have gigantic generators under what seems to be the only Naboo city centered in a lush green forest with what seems to be fertile land. Where do we see people suffering because the Trade Federation stopped doing what they presumably love most (trade)?
  • Why would the Gungans ever fucking care about the Naboo people if they live in a secret underwater city? Are they affected by the trade blockade also? Why wouldn't the Trade Federation want to get Boss Nass's approval? In fact, they really never gave a shit until Qui Gon questionably used his Jedi mind trick to force him to help.
  • Darth Sidious ordered the Jedi to be killed. If they were killed, they could not rescue the Queen and get them back to the Galactic Senate for her to support his rise to power. Again, he purposefully opposes his plans for no reason other than maybe to make the Trade Federation feel supported and not question his motivations.
  • Why did Qui Gon immediately start a convoluted bartering session with Watto when he never bothered to check other shops for the same part he needed? Why even try for a dumb part when it seems like it'd be easier to sell a high-end ship that can apparently punch through blockades for a functioning ship?
  • Of all things that set everything in this universe in motion, it's increased taxes on trade routes. That has to be one of the lamest things I've ever seen.

There's more I could go on, but the underlying motivation failed on every level and made no sense in the universe. It was incredibly unfortunate because I feel like with a few tweaks to characters and a lot of work on the script you could've made an amazing movie. There are a lot of archetypes and key tropes that can serve as the backbone of a good movie, but there was poor or no execution. I don't think the actors did a bad job, they just had poor direction. If you are given zero motivation for your character and are allowed no input (like the cast of the original Star Wars did) there's no wiggle room for how you can perform and it comes out like you're just reading lines and taking your check at the end of the day.

It's a bad movie and saying it's the "least suckiest" one is putting a gold star on a pile of garbage.

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I find it shocking that the OP seems to insinuate that the prequels are better than Force Awakens or Rogue One. Rogue One is literally the best Star Wars movie, plot holes and all.

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#45  Edited By Giantstalker

Episode I might be one of the most pointless movies ever made, considering where the rest of the series goes - even among the other prequels.

Attack of the Clones is probably a worse movie on its own, but Phantom Menace has no reason to exist in the franchise. You can start at Episode II and miss literally nothing with regards to the overarching plot of Star Wars.

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You make some interesting points. I generally disagree with the assessment that The Phantom Menace is the best, however. For everything good about that movie, there's at least two things that are bad, not to mention it does nothing to help set up the succeeding films. In fact, the romance in Episode II is made more unbelievable because of Anakin and Padme's interactions in Episode I. Darth Maul is never mentioned again and the events themselves are mentioned so offhandedly that the movie itself seems inconsequential. I think Episode I is disruptive to the prequels as a whole, and I would skip it.

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deactivated-5e6e407163fd7

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@liquiddragon: episode 1 is the worst. Because it is the beginning of the shit show. I think all of them are bad (worse than what OP is giving them) and 1 is the most boring and confusing of the bunch. If I were to ever watch Star Wars again I would do it in machete order so I don't have to watch episode 1. That all being said I'm not that big of a Star Wars guy either.

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Ezekiel

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#48  Edited By Ezekiel

@burncoat said:

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the RedLetterMedia reviews of the prequels so far. I feel like they're almost required watching if you want to know why the prequels were so terrible. It's amazing how easily they break down how far removed George Lucas's direction was from what made Star Wars great in the first place.

The thing that gets me the most, beyond the bland characters, in the Phantom Menace is the outright pointlessness of the plot.

  1. Darth Sidious wants the treaty signed to make the invasion legal. Why? If the queen signed it, he'd never rise to power. Why consistently tell the Viceroy to get her to sign the treaty?
  2. What's being blockaded that makes it such an issue? They have gigantic generators under what seems to be the only Naboo city centered in a lush green forest with what seems to be fertile land. Where do we see people suffering because the Trade Federation stopped doing what they presumably love most (trade)?
  3. Why would the Gungans ever fucking care about the Naboo people if they live in a secret underwater city? Are they affected by the trade blockade also? Why wouldn't the Trade Federation want to get Boss Nass's approval? In fact, they really never gave a shit until Qui Gon questionably used his Jedi mind trick to force him to help.
  4. Darth Sidious ordered the Jedi to be killed. If they were killed, they could not rescue the Queen and get them back to the Galactic Senate for her to support his rise to power. Again, he purposefully opposes his plans for no reason other than maybe to make the Trade Federation feel supported and not question his motivations.
  5. Why did Qui Gon immediately start a convoluted bartering session with Watto when he never bothered to check other shops for the same part he needed? Why even try for a dumb part when it seems like it'd be easier to sell a high-end ship that can apparently punch through blockades for a functioning ship?
  6. Of all things that set everything in this universe in motion, it's increased taxes on trade routes. That has to be one of the lamest things I've ever seen.

There's more I could go on, but the underlying motivation failed on every level and made no sense in the universe. It was incredibly unfortunate because I feel like with a few tweaks to characters and a lot of work on the script you could've made an amazing movie. There are a lot of archetypes and key tropes that can serve as the backbone of a good movie, but there was poor or no execution. I don't think the actors did a bad job, they just had poor direction. If you are given zero motivation for your character and are allowed no input (like the cast of the original Star Wars did) there's no wiggle room for how you can perform and it comes out like you're just reading lines and taking your check at the end of the day.

It's a bad movie and saying it's the "least suckiest" one is putting a gold star on a pile of garbage.

I had to look up an answer to the first bullet point.

  1. "No. Treaties are normally signed under duress and/or with one or more parties benefiting at the expense of others (e.g., consider the way Germany felt it had been screwed over with the Treaty of Versailles at the end of WWI; it harboured a deep resentment tragically exploited by Hitler and the Third Reich: an historical paradigm which Palpatine/Sidious, or rather, George Lucas, echoes in his plotting here). In short, a thing being legal does not stop it from being objectionable or offensive to people who are subject to its legality or who are otherwise aware of it and find it odious on intellectual or moral grounds (e.g., capital punishment). On the contrary, its very legal sanctioning may make it considerably more tasteless or abhorrent. At the start of TPM, the Republic is in "turmoil", because a legal ruling -- "the taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems" -- is "in dispute". If a dispute over taxation (again, a legal ruling) can throw the Republic into "turmoil", try to imagine what the signing of a treaty between an outlying member world and a ruthless trade organization would do." http://boards.theforce.net/threads/why-did-sidious-want-amidala-to-sign-the-treaty.31656692/
  2. I don't know what's being blockaded. Does it need explaining? They're part of the Republic, an interplanetary community. Maybe they're selling plasma. Imagine how insanely pissed off Americans would be if all airports and communications with other countries were permanently closed and blocked. Could Americans survive isolated from the rest of the world? Yes. Would they accept it? Definitely not. Her people begin suffering and dying after the occupation.
  3. In the commentary, Lucas explains that the Gungans feel inferior to the overworlders, who are able to travel between the stars and have all this technology. The Gungans only live with what they create from nature. Their city is grown rather than built.
  4. If the two Jedi are killed, the queen will be captured and forced to sign the treaty. Legal occupation by the Trade Federation would upset the other members of the Republic, as explained in answer 1. His plan probably changed when the queen escaped. Killing the two Jedi when they are away from the Order is also probably the easiest way of getting back at the Jedi.
  5. Plot convenience to advance the story, I suppose. Just like how the Imperials chose to ignore the escape pod, when they were looking for stolen plans. How does an escape pod even short circuit and eject? How do you know there are no lifeforms? Why are you pretending droids are not common in every area of society? Watto promised him no one else has that part. Did we need to then watch him go from store to store for it? No, that would have been filler.

I'm starting to wonder how much of the RLM "review" (that I watched and enjoyed years ago) is actually valid. One of the questions he raises is why the two Jedi decide to land in separate drop ships when they could end up on opposite sides of the planet and have no motivation for doing so. But the answer is pretty simple and logical. It's in case one of them was discovered and the drop ship was rerouted or shot down. They know nothing about their situation. If one of them fails, the other can still get to the queen. Drop ships in the same hangar bay would likely land in the same area, considering how many ships with their own hangars there are and how many thousands of battle droids are deployed. It's a planetary invasion.

@brendan said:

I find it shocking that the OP seems to insinuate that the prequels are better than Force Awakens or Rogue One. Rogue One is literally the best Star Wars movie, plot holes and all.

I like The Force Awakens. But I wish it was more original. The order for me goes...

Empire > Star Wars > Jedi > Force Awakens > Phantom Menace > Revenge > Rogue One > Attack of the Clones

I actually like Revenge, but I find it harder to call it a good movie.

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I understand that the prequels are not good films but I would always rather watch them over the original trilogy.

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Ezekiel

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#50  Edited By Ezekiel

@alexl86 said:

You make some interesting points. I generally disagree with the assessment that The Phantom Menace is the best, however. For everything good about that movie, there's at least two things that are bad, not to mention it does nothing to help set up the succeeding films. In fact, the romance in Episode II is made more unbelievable because of Anakin and Padme's interactions in Episode I. Darth Maul is never mentioned again and the events themselves are mentioned so offhandedly that the movie itself seems inconsequential. I think Episode I is disruptive to the prequels as a whole, and I would skip it.

They could have made it work. There was a framework from which to build the two sequels. Anakin began his new life and left his mother behind, who would become one of the catalysts for his descent. It could have been done better in Attack of the Clones, but that's not the point. The story was about a phantom menace, so Darth Maul served his role in the story of making the Jedi aware of the Sith, a mystery to build off of. Anakin is only five years younger than Padme. She is the only woman in his life other than his mother. A better writer could have made their relationship work. Maybe he would have tried to impress her, while she continued treating him like a child. It could have been humorous even. Having the hots for an older girl is something I can sympathize with.